Discipline’s (relatively) easy when a staffer breaks a rule or fails to meet expectations. But what about an employee who gets the job done but has a problem that’s more difficult to identify?
You know, the person who’s labeled by co-workers as having “a bad attitude.”
Anyone in management knows the problems a bad attitude can cause: low morale, decreased productivity, poor communication, etc.
But when confronted by a supervisor, the offenders often have a defense ready: “But I do my job.”
The best way to respond? Stop thinking of it as an attitude problem and address the situation as what it really is: a behavior problem.
Attitude can be tough to put your finger on, but behavior is something you can see, document and measure – and, most importantly, change.
When you hear complaints from a problem employee’s co-workers, get specific examples of what’s been happening.
And instead of simply telling an employee, “I don’t like your attitude,” give him or her specific examples of the kind of behavior that needs to be corrected.
Next step: Make sure the employee knows positive behavior when dealing with co-workers and managers is part of his or her job.
One way to reinforce that point: Include behavior as a standard during performance reviews.
For example, your expectations can include something like “Maintaining positive relationships with
co-workers, users and supervisors.”